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Aug. 29, 2016

Randy Mitchell birdies No. 10 (par 5, 536 yards).

Wilmington’s Mitchell medals in U.S. Senior Am. Qual. at Cedarbrook

  BLUE BELL, Pa. — A club championship victory did wonders to Randy Mitchell’s confidence. He erased a 17-year drought by claiming his seventh title at Wilmington Country Club a few weeks ago.

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  Mitchell’s performance reassured the Wilmington, Del. resident that he can swim and succeed in competitive waters. He showed it Monday. Mitchell, a division rookie at age 55, carded a 3-under-par 69 to earn medalist honors in a U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier administered by the Golf Association of Philadelphia at Cedarbrook Country Club (par 72, 6,939 yards). He earned one of six qualifying positions available.

  Five Ponds Golf Club’s Brian Rothaus, Laurel Creek Country Club’s Joseph Russo, Great Bear Golf Club’s Craig Scott and Country Club of Scranton’s Michael Vassil also advance. Scott Mayne, a Colonial Country Club member, rounded out the qualifiers.

  The U.S. Senior Amateur will take place Sept. 17-22 at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Mo. LedgeRock Golf Club’s Chip Lutz, the tournament’s defending champion, is the six-time reigning GAP Senior Player of the Year.

  â€śWinning our club championship means as much as any of this actually,” Mitchell, 55, of Wilmington, Del., said. “I played well, 54 holes in 4 over; I didn’t back into it. [Over the last month] I took my handicap from a four to a plus-one. I’ve been playing pretty well. I expected to play well today.”

  He delivered on those expectations.

  Any newbie nerves manifested in a bogey on Mitchell’s first hole (No. 1, par 4, 398 yards). He flung a pitching wedge from 125 yards to the right of the surface and failed to get up-and-down. Mitchell, playing in the day’s third group, rebounded and revealed the round’s true “fairway and greens” formula on the next hole (par 5, 522 yards). After sending a 6-iron into a safe zone on the tight tester, Mitchell knocked a 58-degree sand wedge 86 yards to three feet for birdie. Back-to-back conversions on Nos. 6 (par 5, 564 yards) and 7 (par 4, 378 yards) propelled Mitchell to the top of the leaderboard. He flipped a 58-degree wedge to five feet on the first. Mitchell deposited a “feel good” 20-footer for birdie on the next hole following a 7-iron setup from 159 yards.

  The challenging par 5, 536-yard 10th hole, with no man’s land left and limited bailout right, never threatened to mush the momentum. After establishing a healthy position off the tee, Mitchell hit a pitching wedge 130 yards to 15 feet and drained the downhiller for birdie. Eight pars, including a clutch one on the day’s most difficult hole (No. 14, par 4, 447 yards) secured his qualifying status. Mitchell powered a hybrid 195 yards and two-putted on the aforementioned.

  Mitchell, who holds six GAP Father & Son titles between sons Colman (age 14) and Davis (age 18), moved to Winston-Salem, N.C. two years ago. He and his family lived on Bermuda Run Country Club, a 36-hole facility. Maximizing time with his family on the course outweighed a desire for individual competition.

  â€śI’ve been playing golf with my kids and not thinking much about tournament golf. This year when I turned 55, I started thinking about it more,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t play [in any Golf Association of Philadelphia Senior events] yet this year. We were living in North Carolina, so I wasn’t really looking at the schedule. It was my last summer with Davis, so I wanted to spend time with him.” Davis is a freshman at North Carolina State University.

  Randy Mitchell, a real estate developer, returned to his Wilmington, Del. home in June. His game’s picked up speed over the past month. In addition to winning Wilmington’s club championship, Mitchell earned runner-up honors in the Delaware Senior Championship.

  Despite the hot steak, don’t expect any expectations for the U.S. Senior Amateur.

  â€śI never even thought about going,” Mitchell said. “All I know is [the tournament is] in St. Louis.”

  Cedarbrook trigged a twinkle in Rothaus’ eye Monday. He won the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship in 1988 on the property, defeating George Dillon of Pine Valley Golf Club, 9&8.

  â€śGood memories coming back,” Rothaus, 60, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., said. “Today was just one of those days where I got it under par early and kept it there. It never got away from me.”

  Rothaus opened with a right-to-left breaking 45-footer for birdie on No. 1 following a 130-yard wedge shot. A bogey on No. 4 (par 4, 378 yards) became an instant afterthought thanks to consecutive red figures that came next. Rothaus holed out from the right greenside bunker on No. 5 (par 3, 188 yards) for birdie. On the downhill No. 6, he smacked a wedge 60 yards to 20 feet.

  In last year’s U.S. Senior Amateur at Hidden Creek Golf Club, Rothaus advanced to the Round of 32, falling to Kevin Cahill of Waukesha, Wisc. By virtue, he earned an invitation to the R&A Seniors Amateur Championship at Formby Golf Club earlier this month.

  â€śThat was great experience. I made a four-footer on the last hole of the second day to make the cut,” Rothaus said. He tied for 34th with rounds of 79, 78 and 75.

  Playing in the same group, Mayne and Scott carded respective even-par 72s to qualify. Their performance cured a bit of shared heartbreak from a qualifier at White Manor Country Club. Scott finished as first alternate; Mayne went double bogey-bogey to miss the cut by a stroke a year ago.

  â€śThat was in my head,” Mayne, 57, of Harrisburg, Pa., said. “We both hit a lot of greens and two-putted today. He hit every shot beautifully.”

  Mayne, who won the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Senior Amateur Championship this year, qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur in 2014. Scott, 67, of Marshalls Creek, Pa., previously gained a spot in 2011. He captured the GAP Senior Amateur in 2004.

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia administered a U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier concurrently with Monday’s affair at Cedarbrook.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
  Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 151 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Qualifiers

Name, city

Score

Randy Mitchell, Wilmington, Del.

69

Brian Rothaus, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

70

Craig Scott, Marshalls Creek, Pa.

72

Michael Vassil, Dalton, Pa.

72

R. Scott Mayne, Harrisburg, Pa.

72

Joe Russo, Sewell, N.J.

73

Alternates (in order)

*Roc Irey, Furlong, Pa.

75

*Robert Wagner, St Davids, Pa.

75

Failed to qualify

Douglas Fedoryshyn, Malvern, Pa.

75

Glenn Smeraglio, Newtown, Pa.

75

Kenneth Phillips, Lancaster, Pa.

75

Raymond Thompson, Drexel Hill, Pa.

75

Thomas Humphrey, Chadds Ford, Pa.

75

Thomas Winegardner, Lothian, Md.

75

Bob Beck, Allentown, Pa.

76

Michael Quinn, East Fallowfield, Pa.

76

Rodney Stilwell, Staten Island, N.Y.

76

Thomas Bartolacci, Washington Crossing, Pa.

76

Chris Lange, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

77

Craig Kliewer, Ephrata, Pa.

77

Craig Maerki, Brightwaters, N.Y.

77

Hee Yoo, Blue Bell, Pa.

77

John Kirk Luntey, Ardmore, Pa.

77

Oscar Mestre, Berwyn, Pa.

77

Robert Billings, Media, Pa.

77

Spike Smith, Pinehurst, N.C.

77

Steve Walczak, Greenville, Del.

77

Buddy Reed, Middletown, Del.

78

David West, Exton, Pa.

78

Drew Panebianco, Gwynedd Valley, Pa.

78

Jim Gavaghan, Newtown, Pa.

78

John Alterman, New Hope, Pa.

78

John Nottage, Warminster, Pa.

78

Robin McCool, Bethlehem, Pa.

78

Duke Delcher, Bluffton, S.C.

79

Gregory Buliga, Langhorne, Pa.

79

Michael Mercier, Juno Beach, Fla.

79

Rich Colaguori, Lansdale, Pa.

79

Robert Gill, Shavertown, Pa.

79

Robert Taylor, Langhorne, Pa.

79

Thomas Soares, Emmaus, Pa.

79

Chris Smedley, Avondale, Pa.

80

Joseph Roeder, Marlton, N.J.

80

Michael Rose, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

80

Bruce Clifford, Bensalem, Pa.

81

Byron Whitman, Reading, Pa.

81

Charles McDowell, Wilmington, Del.

81

Frank Brigidi, III, Glenside, Pa.

81

Gordon Jamieson, Collegeville, Pa.

81

Jeff Poet, York, Pa.

81

Jeffrey True, Lebanon, Pa.

81

John Robinson, North Wales, Pa.

81

William Moyer, Chesterbrook, Pa.

81

William Thornton, Wyomissing, Pa.

81

Christopher Clauson, Philadelphia, Pa.

82

James Prendergast, Limerick, Pa.

82

John Leboeuf, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

82

Tim Sindorf, Burlington, N.J.

82

Todd Wood, Chatham, N.J.

82

Tom Krug, Glenmoore, Pa.

82

Ed Knoll, Etters, Pa.

83

Gary Smith, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

83

Gregory Day, Fort Washington, Pa.

83

Mike Herrick, Colts Neck, N.J.

83

Patrick O'Brien, Wayne, Pa.

83

Ed Chylinski, West Chester, Pa.

84

James Mastromatteo, Lancaster, Pa.

84

James Winner, Churchville, Md.

84

Bill Boyle, Holmdel, N.J.

85

John Manfredi, Margate City, N.J.

85

John Murphy, Murray Hill, N.J.

85

Marlin Detweiler, Akron, Pa.

85

Mike Miklinevich, Margate, N.J.

85

Robert Dietrich, Oxford, Pa.

85

Robert Falls, West Chester, Pa.

85

William Chase, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

85

Andrew Lykon, Pipersville, Pa.

86

Brian Corbett, Clarks Summit, Pa.

86

Damian Anzaldo, Kennett Square, Pa.

86

James Ward, Elkins Park, Pa.

86

Jeffrey Supko, Newton, Mass.

87

Scott Carney, Hatboro, Pa.

87

Patrick Cahill III, Lafayette Hill, Pa.

90

Gene Maginnis, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

91

James Fuller, Endicott, N.Y.

94

Christopher Scott, Summit, N.J.

NS

Rick Handchen, Brick, N.J.

NS

Karl Brand, Colts Neck, N.J.

WD

Peter Van Ingen, New York City, N.Y.

WD

Robert Arthur, Marlton, N.J.

WD

Robert Majczan, Furlong, Pa.

WD

Thomas Mallouk, Doylestown, Pa.

WD

* - determined in playoff

NS - no show; WD - withdrawal

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